April 16, 2010

2010 Georgia Legislative Update

2010 Georgia Legislative Update

by Chuck DuBose, Esq.

House Bill 1101 has passed the House of Representatives and is currently under consideration by the Senate. As previously reported, this bill would allow the State Board of Workers’ Compensation to publish Awards. HB 1101 also proposes changes to the Guaranty Trust Fund statute to protect against insolvencies. Among other changes the Bill proposes increasing the surety bond or letter of credit requirement to $250,000 (up from $100,000), and also proposes reducing the threshold at which a special assessment may be levied from $7 million to $5 million.

A Bill has also passed through the Georgia House of Representatives which contains provisions by which employers that experience an “emergency circumstance” may buy into the Georgia Insolvency Pool and be shielded from liability if their workers’ compensation insurers become insolvent. House Bill 1364 defines “emergency circumstance” as one “in which an association or industrial insured captive insurance company, which subsequently converted from a captive insurance company, has been declared insolvent prior to the effective date of this Code section.” This Bill was proposed in response to the significant impact of the SEUS (Southeastern U.S. Insurance Co.) insolvency. Under the proposed Bill, employers electing to buy into the Insolvency Pool would pay either $20,000.00 or $5,000.00 into the Insolvency Pool, depending upon the net worth of the employer. This Bill is currently under consideration by the Senate.

There will be no change in the workers’ compensation rates or the mileage rate. Currently the maximum temporary total disability rate is $500 per week and the maximum temporary partial disability rate is $334 per week. These rates have been in effect since July 1, 2007. The mileage rate for travel between an employee’s home and the place of examination, treatment, physical therapy or pharmacy remains 40 cents per mile.

If you have questions or comments, please contact your David & Rosetti attorney at 404-446-4488 or by visiting our website at www.davidandrosetti.com. Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice or opinion on specific facts. For editorial comments or suggestions, please contact David W. Willis at (404) 446-4491 or by email at david.willis@davidandrosetti.com.

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